Miércoles 30 de Noviembre de 2005, Ip nº 137

Music giants want terror laws used to stop net piracy
Por Murdo Macleod

ILLEGALLY downloading music to your gleaming new Christmas iPod could soon be dealt with using the full force of anti-terror laws if the entertainment industry gets its way.

Big firms including Sony and EMI want to use new powers designed to track terrorists on the internet to crack down on music and film pirates - including the parents of children who download music - who are estimated to cost the industry £650m a year. Internet companies will have to log all the pages visited by surfers for at least a year so the security services can track terrorists using the web for fund-raising, training or swapping information.

But the move has been greeted with alarm by human rights campaigners who say that the step is an example of the "mission creep" of draconian new anti-terror powers.

The British government in particular has lobbied hard for new surveillance powers to fight terror since the London bombings in July, including more powers to snoop on mobile phone, internet and e-mail traffic.

The government has signalled it is sympathetic to the plan to use the powers for tackling internet piracy.

The Creative Media Business Alliance, which also includes Walt Disney, Universal, and TimeWarner among its members, is lobbying governments, the European Commission and MEPs so that anti-copyright-theft investigators will be able to use the data gathered under anti-terror laws.

They have long argued that, in addition to illegal downloading of music and films costing artists and the industry billions of pounds in lost royalties and sales, piracy is also used by organised criminals and terrorists as a source of cash.

But the move has led to alarm from human rights campaigners. Dr Gus Hosein, Senior Fellow with civil liberties group Privacy International, said: "Data retention has never been about terrorism, it has always been about having information accessible for any purpose under the sun.

"So it is no surprise to see Hollywood saying: 'We would like to have this data too'."


  27/11/2005. The Scotsman.